By the 1850s, New York City’s ports handled more goods and people than all other American ports combined. In 1855, Fernando Wood was elected as the first mayor.
An aerial perspective above Manhattan, showing the rapid change of the city's shore, skyline and developing landscape.
Artist's rendering of The South Street Seaport, the first pier in the area was occupied in 1625 by the Dutch West India Company.
New York's oldest public park (formerly, there was a turf present for playing lawn bowling) which is also surrounded by the oldest fence in City.
A photograph of Manhattan's City Hall. Taken by A.R. Waud in the winter of 1855.
Lithograph illustration of Chatham Square, named after William Pitt, 1st Earl of Chatham and Prime Minister of Great Britain before the American Revolution.
An illustrative engraving of the original Market on 6th Avenue.
A group gathered around the newly constructed monument of George Washington in Union Square, dedicated in 1856 the the oldest sculpture in any NYC Park.
Watercolor Illustration of Broadway and Vesey Street Looking South.
Photograph of an open air clothing market beneath the train tracks in New York City. Taken by A.R.Waud in 1850
The East side of Broadway and Broome Street looking North, capturing the hum and activity of downtown Manhattan during a cold winter.
View of a residential neighborhood along New York's Fifth Avenue. Rows of single-family brownstones with grand front stoops line the wide corridor.
A view of the St. Germain Hotel on the North East Corner of 5th Avenue between 22nd and 23rd Streets (future site of The Flatiron Building).
A view overlooking the Palisades, Hudson and Yonkers dockyard with railroad tracks which ran parallel to the Hudson River. Taken by Silas A. Holmes in 1855.
A group portrait photograph of men, women & children gathered in front of Washington Square Park's famous fountain.
The Cooper Union was founded in 1859 by entrepreneur/inventor Peter Cooper. Astor Place was named for John Jacob Astor soon after his death in 1848.
Learn all about NYC’s fascinating past by exploring the natural forces that shaped the environment and landscape, along with the people who would transform the “Island of Many Hills” into the greatest and most influential city in the world.
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